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  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 123, Goiter- Gansu.
    Thorp Collection 123, Goiter- Gansu.

    This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing," the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 110, Hail Protector, Qinghai.
    Thorp Collection 110, Hail Protector, Qinghai.

    This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing," the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Environmental Implications of Japan's Geology 20, Mt. Iwate, near Morioka.
    Environmental Implications of Japan's Geology 20, Mt. Iwate, near Morioka.

    Mt. Iwate, near Morioka. -- Mt. Iwate, a potentially dangerous composite volcano, reminds us that the same geological processes that can cause widespread death and destruction also produce much of the natural beauty of Japan. Convergence of earth plates bends and breaks crustal rocks producing earthquakes in the process, but at the same time uplifts the surface to create spectacular mountains. Erupting volcanoes formed along these convergent boundaries lay waste to the landscape, yet also produce magnificent, graceful peaks like Mt. Fuji and Mt. Iwate. Wave action erodes coastlines, but also creates picturesque sea cliffs and stacks and magnificent indented shorelines. The same dynamic earth processes that created the Japanese Islands make them both dangerous and magnificent. In Japan, it is very difficult not be affected, both physically and emotionally, by the natural environment.

  • Thumbnail for Landscapes of Japan, 14, Flat land used for cities, Tokyo viewed from the top of Tokyo Tower.
    Landscapes of Japan, 14, Flat land used for cities, Tokyo viewed from the top of Tokyo Tower.

    Flat land used for cities, Tokyo viewed from the top of Tokyo Tower. -- Flat land is scarce and very valuable in Japan. It is the most productive agricultural land, and also the easiest land upon which to build. Consequently. there is great competition and tension between development and agricultural interests. As the population increases and more people move from rural to urban areas, Japanese cities continue to expand and an increasing proportion of flat land is lost to agricultural and other uses.

  • Thumbnail for Landscapes of Japan, 11, Beach at Noda.
    Landscapes of Japan, 11, Beach at Noda.

    Beach at Noda. -- Where there are indentations or bays along coastlines, wave action is reduced. In these more sheltered environments sediment which has been carried along the coast or brought to the bay by rivers from the land, may accumulate forming bars and beaches. If such deposition continues for a period of time, the bay may gradually fill, producing a level plain in the former coastal indentation. There are many such coastal plains along the Japanese shoreline, most of them small and isolated. -- Here, at Noda, barriers have been placed just offshore to further reduce wave action and promote deposition and beach formation and retention.

  • Thumbnail for Environmental Implications of Japan's Geology 19, Horyuji Gate (AD 607), Nara, survivor of many earthquakes.
    Environmental Implications of Japan's Geology 19, Horyuji Gate (AD 607), Nara, survivor of many earthquakes.

    Horyuji Gate (AD 607), Nara, survivor of many earthquakes. -- This very old structure is persuasive evidence of the durability of wooden buildings during earthquakes. In its nearly 1,400 year history, it has survived countless earthquakes, emerging relatively unscathed because of the flex inherent in wooden structures.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 137, Waterwheel, Jiangxi.
    Thorp Collection 137, Waterwheel, Jiangxi.

    This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing," the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 106,  Lake caused by landslide, Gansu
    Thorp Collection 106, Lake caused by landslide, Gansu

    Lake caused by landslide, Gansu. This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanatin and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing," the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 122, Road - Mapochuan - Paingshui, Gansu.
    Thorp Collection 122, Road - Mapochuan - Paingshui, Gansu.

    This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing," the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 095, Forest and Denuded Hills - Guiyang
    Thorp Collection 095, Forest and Denuded Hills - Guiyang

    Forest and Denuded Hills - Guiyang. This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. No. ecasia000072, ""Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing.""

  • Thumbnail for Environmental Implications of Japan's Geology 12, Avalanche scar, Mt. Iwate.
    Environmental Implications of Japan's Geology 12, Avalanche scar, Mt. Iwate.

    Avalanche scar, Mt. Iwate. -- This steep slope on Mt. Iwate has several avalanche scars marked by patches of bare rock and the absence of trees. Avalanches are most common where deep snow falls on steep slopes. In Japan, moisture-laden air masses from the surrounding oceans can produce very heavy snowfall in the mountains. This, combined with frequent earthquakes which can act as triggers, mean that avalanches are another natural hazard the Japanese have to contend with.

  • Thumbnail for Landscapes of Japan, 09, Alluvial flatlands, floodplain of Kitakami River, Hiraizumi.
    Landscapes of Japan, 09, Alluvial flatlands, floodplain of Kitakami River, Hiraizumi.

    Alluvial flatlands, floodplain of Kitakami River, Hiraizumi. -- Flat land is scarce in Japan and is mostly the result of stream action, though shoreline processes have produced some flat areas along the coast. Here, as its gradient, velocity and consequently its ability to transport sediment decreased, the Kitakami River has deposited sediment eroded from nearby mountain ranges. Most alluvial floodplains like this in Japan are small and linear in shape. Higher flat terraces paralleling the stream may be present if old floodplain surfaces have been uplifted and dissected by a rejuvenated and newly downcutting stream. -- Flat land is important in Japan because it is both the best agricultural land and the best site for cities and towns.

  • Thumbnail for Landscapes of Japan, 18, Coastal features, straight Pacific coast: wave-eroded sea cliffs, wave-cut terrace, Mizushirazaki.
    Landscapes of Japan, 18, Coastal features, straight Pacific coast: wave-eroded sea cliffs, wave-cut terrace, Mizushirazaki.

    Coastal features, straight Pacific coast: wave-eroded sea cliffs, wave-cut terrace, Mizushirazaki. -- Japan has about 18,000 miles of coastline whose configuration differs from place to place depending upon the interaction between shoreline erosive processes and earth crustal movement. At Mizushirazaki, the trend of rocks and geological structures is nearly parallel with the coast resulting in a fairly straight coastline. (Compare this coastline with that shown in slide 1.19.) Waves are actively eroding and undercutting the base of sea cliffs causing them to collapse into the water. As the coastline retreats in this manner, a flat wave-cut bench is produced offshore a few feet below sea level. The flat surface covered with trees above the cliffs is an old wave-cut bench that has been uplifted above sea level by crustal movement. -- Notice the small beaches that have formed from sediment deposition in areas sheltered behind rock promontories.

  • Thumbnail for Landscapes of Japan, 08, Caldera occupied by Lake Tazawa, seen from Mt. Komagatake, Backbone Range.
    Landscapes of Japan, 08, Caldera occupied by Lake Tazawa, seen from Mt. Komagatake, Backbone Range.

    Caldera occupied by Lake Tazawa, seen from Mt. Komagatake, Backbone Range. -- Lake Tazawa, the deepest lake in Japan, is nearly circular in shape and about three and one-half miles across. It is nearly 1,400 feet deep and occupies a large depression of volcanic origin, called a caldera. This depression has steeply sloping sides and a mostly flat bottom. The caldera formed when huge amounts of volcanic material were erupted leading to the collapse of the resulting volcano into the vacated, empty chamber below. At least one small cone, formed by later volcanic activity, rises above the lake floor, but not to the lake surface. There are other calderas in Japan, including Lake Towada north of Morioka. Crater Lake in Oregon is a similar feature in the United States.

  • Thumbnail for Landscapes of Japan, 04, Steep gradient, downcutting stream.  The Sacred Bridge at Toshogu Shrine, Nikko.
    Landscapes of Japan, 04, Steep gradient, downcutting stream. The Sacred Bridge at Toshogu Shrine, Nikko.

    Steep gradient, downcutting stream. The Sacred Bridge at Toshogu Shrine, Nikko. -- As rivers downcut and reduce their gradient, they tend to eliminate rapids and waterfalls. Because of more-or-less constant uplift in Japan, rivers typically have not been able to accomplish this. This river has rapids and falls indicating a steep gradient. There are no flat surfaces adjacent to the stream to indicate that it is shifting laterally. This is a small, fast-flowing, actively downcutting, short river typical of most of the rivers of Japan.

  • Thumbnail for Landscapes of Japan, 10, Rice fields, Kanto Plain (Japan's largest), near Narita Airport.
    Landscapes of Japan, 10, Rice fields, Kanto Plain (Japan's largest), near Narita Airport.

    Rice fields, Kanto Plain (Japan's largest), near Narita Airport. -- The Kanto Plain is the largest of Japan's coastal lowland plains with an area of about 8,000 square miles (this is about equal to a square 70 miles on a side). The slide shows the multiple uses of flat land in Japan. Rice fields, gardens, roads, villages and towns and an international airport all compete for part of this lowland area.

  • Thumbnail for Japan, 1951:  Vegetable plots within an urban setting
    Japan, 1951: Vegetable plots within an urban setting

    The dominant landscape in Japan is still rural. More than half of the arable land is given over to rice cultivation, and 90% of the laborers are farmers. But 84% of the land area is mountainous- which means that each acre of tillable land must support 3,400 persons. The comparable figure for China is 1,400 while for the U.S. it is only 270 persons. --This was the description to accompany this image as written by Arthur O. Rinden, the photographer. His description, which he referred to as a "script" was to accompany a slide show of the images for his family and others.

  • Thumbnail for Essay: Geology and Geological Hazards of Japan
    Essay: Geology and Geological Hazards of Japan by Martin, Charles W.

    An essay by Dr. Charles Martin, Professor of Geology, Earlham College. Originally published by the Earlham Institute for Education on Japan, 1992. Included here as a PDF document, readable with Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Acrobat Reader software installed on your computer, it may be obtained as a free download at http://www.adobe.com If you need any help with how to navigate through a PDF document, when you open the essay by Dr. Martin, click on the left arrow in the frame at the bottom of the window -- that will take you to a first page at the front of the document that gives simple directions for moving through a PDF file.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 121, Buddha on Cliff, Kanku, Gansu.
    Thorp Collection 121, Buddha on Cliff, Kanku, Gansu.

    This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing," the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 119, Results of famine, Village in Gansu.
    Thorp Collection 119, Results of famine, Village in Gansu.

    This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing," the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 191, Erosion near Koukoitze and Valley Yi-liang Basin, Yunnan.
    Thorp Collection 191, Erosion near Koukoitze and Valley Yi-liang Basin, Yunnan.

    This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing," the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 194, Flooded Paddy Fields Mengtze Basin, Yunnan.
    Thorp Collection 194, Flooded Paddy Fields Mengtze Basin, Yunnan.

    This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing," the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 193, Overflowed Lake, Mengtze, Yunnan.
    Thorp Collection 193, Overflowed Lake, Mengtze, Yunnan.

    This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing," the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 171, Hillside Cultivation on Gorges.
    Thorp Collection 171, Hillside Cultivation on Gorges.

    This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing," the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 192, Mts, W. of Puo-hi. Yunnan.
    Thorp Collection 192, Mts, W. of Puo-hi. Yunnan.

    This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing," the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.